Hi. I’m working with some students who have a challenging time regulating their emotions and have trouble connecting to heart center to fully express themselves. As a result, they shut down, overreact, say inappropriate things and have a challengings times connecting. Are there specific mindfulness practices that you might suggest to help them?
I so appreciate your interest in mindfulness to work with your students around how they connect with others. A daily mindfulness practice has been shown to be very helpful in promoting self-regulation, impulse control and pro-social behavior. There is a strong connection between mindfulness and social/emotional learning. The Inner Explorer program offers an accessible, daily program that helps both teachers and students incorporate mindfulness in 5-10 minutes per day. If you are interested in using the program in your classroom, we can arrange a subscription for you thanks to Hemera’s generosity.
In addition to a foundational daily practice, specific mindfulness practices would vary according to the age of your students. What age are your students? A Loving Kindness practice is a wonderful way to connect with the heart center and can be practiced with any age group.
Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the subscription, as well as for a research abstract summary which highlights studies relating to your post.
I am a 2nd grade teacher in a public elementary school in Southeastern Pennsylvania. I have taken a personal Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course and I would like to help promote the usefulness of mindful practices as a component of social/emotional learning and positive behavior support in schools. I introduced mindfulness in my school district several years ago at a professional development meeting. In my school, every morning after the announcements, the gym teacher leads the school in a mindful breath. I am reaching out to you because no one in my school has been trained to teach this to students. A few of us use some apps with students that have mindful movement and breathing. Is your program the same as the apps? The apps are free. What is the cost of your program?
I’m not sure if anyone from our group responded to your question. Thank you for the note and I love that you’ve already been laying the ground work for mindfulness in your school! There are tons of great apps out there, and some of figuring out which is best for you is to try various ones to see what works best for you and your students.
I would say one key difference is that our approach is very focused on daily practice. The idea is that mindfulness isn’t really a strategy to use when things get crazy (although it can work in that mode), it’s really the development of a daily practice that helps kids regulate so things don’t get crazy as often. We love Dan Siegel’s analogy about teeth brushing. You don’t brush because you have a cavity, you brush to avoid a cavity. Most children brush and understand why they do it. We suggest to them that mindfulness is the same thing. You do it every day to promote cognitive health. This isn’t a program as much as it’s something you do every day, hopefully throughout your entire life.
Due to this focus on daily practice, we created a series that follows MBSR and which has been proven through 3 scientific studies to improve grades, test scores and behavior (and to reduce teacher stress). Most apps don’t have research on their program, they use research about mindfulness to suggest their programs will be effective too. This may be true, but you won’t know until the research is done on the specific apps used in specific ways. Generally teachers tell us they love our format because it takes all the planning out and they log in and each day is something new (and it builds the skills as the series progresses). Having said all this, I think it’s amazing that so many tools are available so that teachers and their students can discover what works best for them each day. You can run a trial of our program to see if it fits (probably next year since the school year is about over in most areas). Please let me know if you have specific questions. With warmth, Laura
Thank you for your response. I am interested in running the trial of your program to see if it will fit in nicely within my classroom. How do I sign up for the trial and how long will the trial period last? Is there a way for me to experience some lessons (during summer break) so I can plan now for program implementation in September?
wonderful!! Yes, you are eligible for the program through the Hemera Grant, so if you can send me your school name and the grade you teach, we can get you set up. The license is for a year and can start now or in September. You are also eligible for a school wide license if you think other teachers in your school could be interested within the year. You can access trial practices right on our website so you get a sense of how we are sharing this work with students.
We’re excited to work with you!!